Monday 26 March 2018

Goodbye Granite City Girl

I didn't think this post would be quite as difficult to write as it is, but I suppose we all knew this was coming shortly. Despite the almost 8 months of silence on my part I still feel saddened and shocked to be writing this!

We have been through quite a lot on this little corner of the internet these last 4 years. A graduation, a wedding, 2 house moves, a couple of career jumps and finally a Granite City baby and not to mention the countless reviews, phases and experiences we have shared, truly this feels like saying goodbye to an old friend.

So far motherhood has been a rollercoaster of a journey, a journey which thus far I've selfishly kept to myself and my family. Really it feels a little as though these last few months has shaped me in such a way where I feel I have 'grown out' of this blog and that I'm ready to take on bigger challenges and move on to new and exciting adventures. Adventures which I hope you will soon join me on.

Until next time folks, thank you for the reads!

Granite City Girl

Friday 18 August 2017

Emilia Rey Adams | Labour and delivery story

On July 24th 2017 at 5.53am we welcomed our daughter Emilia Rey Adams into the world. After exactly 40 weeks of pregnancy, various scans, antenatal classes, morning sickness, uncomfortable nights with my pregnancy pillow and having swollen body parts I didn't even know had the capacity to swell, we finally met our Emilia. Here is her birth story.

Emilia Rey Adams first moments
When I was pregnant I must have read hundreds of these types of posts. It seemed I had developed a morbid curiosity over what to expect from giving birth and the labour experience and I made it my mission to collect ever morsel of information I could find in writing up my birth plan (which you can read a little bit about right here) And did it go to plan you ask? Absolutely not! 

Everything kicked off at around 5.45am on Sunday the 23rd of July, one day before my official due date. My waters had gone pretty spectacularly when I woke to go for what must have been my 10th pee of the night. I woke Nick to let him know 'it's happening' only to be met with a very sleepy 'what's happening?' Though while my waters had gone that was where it pretty much halted, contractions didn't come on right away as I had expected them to and we were sort of at a loss of what to do. We had been told by our midwife at the antenatal classes we attended to wait for contractions to begin before calling the hospital so we went back to bed and slept for a couple of hours, woke had breakfast,  pottered about the house for a while. Still nothing happened, though my waters had continued to come.

At around 2.30pm we decided we couldn't just sit around waiting anymore and decided to give the hospital a call. We were given a 4pm appointment and pointed in the direction of the Westburn Ward of Aberdeen Maternity Hospital where I was hooked up to a machine to help monitor baby's heartbeat and movement patterns. As my contractions hadn't started, and there was some meconium detected in my waters, it was explained to us that as I was considered to be having a 'higher risk or red pathway' birth I wouldn't be able to give birth in the midwife led unit and would be taken through to the labour ward when there were more staff members available. Of course we were fairly disappointed as it meant we wouldn't be getting the birth experience we had expected initially however in the moment we were really just more concerned with making sure baby was delivered safely.

We were monitored consistently by our midwife, Hannah, over the next few hours and sat in our little room (on what can only be described as the worlds most uncomfortable bed and chair) watching Netflix on my phone until 12.30am on the 24th of July - which was when both a spot became available on the labour ward AND when they had the staff (thank goodness for cereal bars and still Lucozade!) Things finally seemed to be on the move and I was set to 'be induced'

Hannah explained that as my contractions still hadn't started on their own that I was to be monitored for baby heart rate and that I would be placed on a hormone drip that would be increased every half hour that would begin my contractions for me. Did all of this go to plan? Nope. As baby kept moving and squirming it was nigh impossible to get a good trace of her heart rate so she had to be monitored by placing a clip on her head, further reducing my plans for an 'active' labour.

It finally reached 2.30am after more monitoring and having my hormone drip placed things began to kick off. I was dilated 2cm and was told due to having the artificial hormone that I would next be checked over in 6 hours time as things don't tend to progress as quickly and that this time period is standard procedure. The contractions began to build steadily over the next hour and a bit, I would say they were a very manageable pain for the first hour and a bit until I finally caved and asked for gas and air. The gas and air was not pleasant and made me sick almost immediately, it of course helped in taking the edge off of the pain and made me feel a 'drunk dizzy' which helped distract from the pain but it very quickly became apparent that this would not be enough.

Though my contractions had began to build relatively slowly things really ramped up at around 4.00am when I was having back to back contractions with very little break in between, we're talking mere seconds to recover. As the pain had reached quite an intense level I really could only communicate in grunts, nods and shakes so when Nick suggested (begged) I try a higher form of pain relief I nodded and one shot of morphine was administered. I'm not sure as to whether or not the morphine really did help in terms of relieving the pain, though from then on it didn't get much more painful so perhaps that's how it's really meant to work. The hormone drip I had been on was reduced as the midwives were worried that baby was coming too fast, but by then it was too late, she was ready and I was ready to push, in fact I was REALLY ready to push (they aren't kidding when they tell you that your body just knows and tells you when you're ready and when to push, trust your bodies ladies!)

In my opinion the pushing stage hurt far less than the contractions and I didn't feel as though I was pushing for very long at all (though Nick says it felt like forever - but perhaps my memory is already getting hazy) I was pretty determined I wasn't going to have any intervention or assistance in my delivery, and as my birth experience hadn't quite gone to plan thus far I was giving the pushing stage my all.

And in just over 24 hours after my front waters broke (did you know you have front and back waters by the way?) and only 3 and a half hours in labour Emilia Rey Adams finally arrived at 5.53am on July 24th 2017 weighing a lovely 7lbs 8.5oz, stealing our hearts and turning us into a family of three.

Thank you for reading my labour and delivery story, while my birth didn't 100% 'to plan' I still consider it to have been a positive experience and would do it all again (no time soon of course!)

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Pregnancy Update | The Third Trimester

Pregnancy experience

Here we are at the home stretch. This has to have been the quickest pregnancy in the history of pregnancies! The third trimester begins at the 29th week of pregnancy and goes on until your due date (and after) at 40 - 42 weeks.

This trimester has been characterised by at times colossal feeling weight gain, trouble sleeping and swollen hands and feet (primarily due to the heatwave we have experienced here in sunny Scotland this summer!) 

The third trimester began very smoothly, baby continued to grow at the optimum pace and didn't give me too much of a hard time, she kicked and wiggled regularly and at times it really did feel like I was growing a parkour enthusiast or incubating the next Bruce Lee,  but it really felt amazing... though jarring at times. We attended antenatal classes at our local GP with our community midwife in order to get a better idea of what to include in our birth plan - which you can read a bit more on here.

Over the course of the third trimester my weight increased at a rate I wasn't expecting - it was as if I woke one morning and had this massive baby bump. Nothing fit me anymore, walking to and from anywhere felt like a struggle and towards the very end it really did feel as though the baby could just drop out at any moment.

My maternity leave officially began 2 weeks prior to my due date, for which I had plans of organising the house, washing all of the baby clothes and clearing out my cupboards and perhaps even receiving a bit of pampering and seeing a few movies at the cinema before baby decided to make her entrance. I was lucky enough to have help throughout the first week of my maternity leave as Nick took a holiday so we could have a mini 'baby moon' before madam arrived. We took it easy, went to the cinema, out for some meals and got a few last minute bits and pieces organised to make life with a newborn that little bit easier. As we had been told our baby was measuring on the larger side and that her head was already engaged we were waiting on tender hooks for her arrival... of course that didn't happen!

As time moved on - keeping in mind I still hadn't reached my due date I grew impatient and really quite miserable. All I wanted to do was shut myself away and not communicate with anyone bar Nick until my baby arrived. I was SO uncomfortable. Due to my weight gain walking was a struggle. particularly in the heat we had been enduring in Aberdeen, my back was in agony (thanks to a pregnancy massage from Pure Spa that only seemed to make things worse!) and my hands and feet were swollen beyond recognition, as in my wedding and engagement rings came off and I had ONE pair of shoes that could just go on my feet anymore!

But it was all soon to be over as my waters broke on the 23rd of July (one day before my due date) and as you all know our beautiful Emilia Rey Adams was born exactly on her due date of July 24th 2017.

Stick around in the coming weeks to read all about my labour and delivery story, what went to plan, what didn't go to plan and hopefully I'll have a chance to sit down with a warm(ish) coffee and write all about our first few weeks with a newborn. Keep updated via my social channels of Bloglovin, Twitter and Instagram.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Emilia Rey Adams

She's finally here!

Welcome to the world Emilia Rey Adams, born exactly on her due date, July 24th 2017 at 5.53am weighing 7lbs 8.5oz.

We honestly couldn't be more in love with her and we are so excited to begin our new life as a family of three plus our fur baby Marble.

I'm planning on writing down my labour and delivery story very soon as well as a summing up of the third trimester while it's all still fresh in my mind, they really aren't kidding when they say how quickly you forget specific details and how quickly you forget the pain.

Until then we'll be living in our new family love bubble a little while longer,

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 19 May 2017

Dramatic Halo Eye Make up | NYX Glitter Pigment Review

Halo eye pigments

Glitter is having a little moment in the make up industry right now. From OTT glitter cut creases dominating instagram, to covering dark under eye bags with glitter and products like unicorn snot and space jam popping up all over the place it's difficult not to be drawn in. Unfortunately for me glitter, more specifically glitter pigment, has been something I haven't had a great deal of experience with as a make up artist - which is a shame because I'm a fan. So in the last month or so I have been taking steps and working to change that and decided to pick myself up a couple of purse friendly pigments by my new high street fave, NYX cosmetics.

Unfortunately I still had to purchase these online, as my local Boots stores were either consistently out of stock or simply don't take them in very often. None the less I persevered and sucked up the 3 day delivery and I was granted my glittery wishes.

I decided to pick up 3 pretty subdued, more metallic shades, Vegas BABY! (which is a subtle sandy gold colour with hints of silver) Old Hollywood (a true gold) and Magnetic (a true metallic silver shade) All of them come in pretty small, dinky tubs (0.04oz), I'll be honest I was expecting more for £5.50 per pot but no matter I'm hoping these will last a good while.

I decided to give these a bash with a smokey, halo eye one day when I was having a practice with some new products and I decided to reach specifically for Vegas BABY! to help give me that brightness in the middle of my lid as is expected of a halo eye.

Glittery halo eye

The pot looks a little like a salt shaker so I shook some of the product into the lid, which admittedly was not easy and it took a good few shakes to get out a decent amount of product, I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong but I couldn't get the lid off entirely at all! I then went in with a rounded, synthetic fibre brush with a little of NYX's Glitter Primer on it, picked up and packed the product on to the middle of my lid. It didn't take very much to achieve the effect I was after - the pigments are relatively fine so there wasn't a great deal of fall out and I was very impressed with the colour pay off!

The next time I use these I will instead be reaching for some of my setting spray or MAC Fix+ as I feel it may be a bit easier to pick up the product and pack it on using a slightly fluffier brush - though this is more of a criticism of the glitter primer than anything else. As I mentioned I am still disappointed in the size of the tubs, they will go nicely in my collection and not take up very much space however I still expected a bit more, and of course I don't very much like the salt shaker type lid - I would far rather have the option to take the entire lid off and spoon the product out for something quicker and easier.

If you are looking for a more purse friendly pigment than the likes of MAC, LA Splash or Illamasqua then head over to your local NYX counter and give these a bash - once you get the product out they are great to work with and the colours they offer are amazing!

Be sure to leave any comments or suggestions in the box below, otherwise you can catch me on the usual channels, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook for more make up artistry by me and more of everything else on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 17 May 2017

No Fuss Brush Cleaning Routine | Freedom Studio Solid Brush Bath Review

I may be the most easily influenced person on the planet. There I was quite content with my tried and tested brush cleaning routine (baby shampoo with a spritz of alcohol to disinfect and a blender cleanser for reusable foam sponges) when all of a sudden up pops THIS video by Andrew of Beauty and the Boy on Instagram showing, perhaps the easiest brush cleaning routine I have ever seen featuring this brush bath by Freedom Pro Studio.

No sooner had I clicked the like button than I had bought the solution to try for myself, and I must say if you're a no fuss, no muss no coconuts kind of person this may be the brush bath you've been searching for.

This sanitising brush cleanser works by swishing around your 'dirty' make up brush in some water, swirling it around in this little brush bath and rinsing the soapy solution (and make up residue) off under a running tap. And that is literally it! So in short, swish, swirl, rinse (trust me it's not a magic spell as much as it sounds like it!) 

Cleaning my brushes with this isn't a thought like it normally is -it is so quick and easy, it gets the job done and it helps in making your brushes smell lovely and clean. 

I of course always finish off my brush cleaning routine by leaving the brushes over night hanging over the edge of a counter on a dishtowel - this helps them maintain their shape and dry all around and top them off with a spritz of alcohol solution to ensure they are thoroughly disinfected.

The Freedom brush bath  retails at £7.00 for a 100ml tub - a little of this product really goes a long way and I can see myself using this for a long, long time to come. If you're looking for a cost effective, no fuss, no muss cleanser for your brushes I really do recommend checking out the Freedom range at your local Superdrug you really don't have to pay the world for an effective cleanser as some would have you belieive!

Hopefully you have enjoyed checking out this new product with me, be sure to let me know in the comments below if you do decide to give this a bash - at £7.00 for me it was a no brainer considering how often I wash my brushes! Otherwise you can catch me lurking on all of the usual channels, Twitter for rants and musings, Facebook for make up artistry, Instagram for snaps and more from the blog on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Pregnancy Update | The Second Trimester

Second trimester pregnancy

The second trimester. I can't belieive we have arrived here already - it really does feel like only yesterday I was sitting down bleary eyed and in the throws of morning sickness to write my first trimester update - but here we are a whole 16 weeks later and already into the third trimester! For those of you unfamiliar the second trimester of pregnancy runs from the 13th week of pregnancy until the 28th week of pregnancy.

What can I really say about the second trimester? We've hit a tonne of new milestones, from finding out our baby's gender to seeing her in many and varying scans both NHS and private, kitting out her bedroom and wardrobe with some new furniture and amazing clothes (courtesy of the Next sale which has Changed. My. Life!), attending new pregnancy fitness classes (which I may write a separate post on entirely) and finally feeling her kick, move and roll for the first time, it has been a whirlwind, exciting few months I'll say that!

Symptom wise my morning sickness has totally subsided though a few food aversions have snuck up on me such as my favourite curry from our local takeaway, ASDA's own oven pizzas and toast (which I put down to the morning sickness from the first trimester!) Stretch marks have also began to make their unfortunate and unwelcome appearance but so too has the appearance of my long awaited bump, which is now filling out all of my lovely new maternity clothes quite nicely. I need to pee pretty much all of the time, and when I'm not peeing I'm eating, and when I'm not eating I'm downing a family sized carton of orange juice which I think may actually be a pregnancy craving and of course the cycle begins all over again. Top tip for fellow pregnant ladies out there, when you need to sneeze, learn to clench and sneeze - bladder control during pregnancy is no joke! So far I haven't had any aches, pains or hospital related emergencies (touch wood) and I can safely say the second trimester has been plain sailing thus far.

There have been a few positives these last few months which I'm secretly hoping aren't entirely down to pregnancy hormones but I suppose only time will tell. My hair, nails and skin have never been better - in fact I treated myself to a gel manicure a few weeks back and the extensions grew off within a week (that's how fast they grow!) and I've thankfully got my energy back so I have been able to walk around a lot more during my lunch breaks at work and do more around the house which has been a blessing. 

A few fun facts about baby this trimester, she now has a regular heartbeat as well as the ability to yawn and hiccup in there, she also has her own set of fingerprints, is growing her hair, lashes and eyebrows and can even now taste foods that I eat via her amniotic fluid (how cool is that - plenty of fine foods and ice cream for me I think!)

So far so good - now we've got another 12 or so weeks until my due date and hopefully not too long after (or soon before!) to meet this little person and get acquainted with the individual assaulting me from the inside out! This has and I think will continue to be my favourite trimester particularly as during these last 12 or so weeks the bump is due to get quite heavy, I'm expecting cankles, swelling and general exhaustion as well as boredom in anticipation of her arrival (it's gonna be a long 12 weeks!)

Thank you for taking the time to read my pregnancy update - I'm glad I decided to document my pregnancy in this way as I think it will be fun to look back on in the future, so really I'm being kind of selfish in that sense! As usual though I do love to hear from you so be sure to leave your (helpful) thoughts and comments below, come share them with me on Twitter, Instagram and if you'd like to see more of me, bump (and eventually baby) be sure to follow me on Bloglovin.

Until next time,

H.Elizabeth x
Blogger template by pipdig